Friday, September 6, 2013

Gracious Giving

Grace and gracious.....two lovely words....meaning elegance and beauty or divine blessing. Both meanings apply to the recent gifting through Journeys of the Heart, to Children's Education Foundation in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Our dear friend Carole Earle Musgrave died recently. Carole was a brilliant, funny lady. Her friendships were many. She was a lover of words and books; in fact Carole was an early and patient editor of the manuscript of our book Back to Vietnam: Tours of the Heart. Throughout the years Carole was also a staunch supporter of Journeys of the Heart and so was her book club....the Red Tent Book Club. The RTBC annually donated funds for libraries in remote villages.

I was very moved when one of the RTBC members e-mailed me to say that they would like very much to donate funds for a library in memory of Carole. I immediately thought of Linda Hutchinson-Burns' attempts to build a traveling library for the girls whose education CEF sponsors. These girls from poor families have no access to books and often are not close to a library. Some villages and schools simply do not have libraries.

We all agreed that this would be a sweet way to remember Carole and now Linda and her staff are happily shopping for books. Each one is stamped with the quote "Today a Reader: Tomorrow a Leader" and " This Book is from your Auntie Carole in Canada, who loved books".

The book topics range from fairy tales, to the environment, science, nature, art and self-improvement and the Auntie Carole library is still growing.

Remembering a friend, colleague or family member with a donation to a cause close to their hearts is a gracious way to honour their memory. We have also received gifts to honour birthdays, graduations, promotions and life milestones.

Thank you to the Red Tent Book Club for remembering Carole Earle Musgrave in this gracious way. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Annual Appeal Launched

Journeys of the Heart 2014 Appeal

 Journeys of the Heart has been reaching out to the disenfranchised in Vietnam since 2008. When we leave in December 2013 for another three months of work it will be our sixth journey.

This is what we know for sure!

·       Grass roots, sustainable organizations and projects have a significant impact

·       Helping people to help themselves through education, training and micro-loan programs is far better than giving handouts

·       Locally run projects reach the real needs of people within their communities who “slip through the cracks” of government or international NGO initiatives

·       Our skills as retired business consultants and former educators are useful tools in our capacities as advisers to three of the organizations we serve.

·       We continue to garner great joy and personal satisfaction from our work with our Vietnamese “clients”, friends and family as well as the expats who are also there to serve.

·      With your financial support we ARE making a difference; changing lives, educating more girls from poor families, training more disabled young people, delivering more books to remote villages and assisting victims of Agent Orange in becoming self supporting

Results from our 2012 Journey of the Heart:

  • ·       Delivered five portable libraries to a remote school district in the Mekong Delta in co-operation with Global Village Foundation 
  • ·       Sponsored seven girls in the Children’s Education Foundation’s scholarship program
  • ·       Provided micro-loans to five Agent Orange victim families for the purposes of establishing home based businesses
  • ·       Provided training for four new employees at both the Reaching Out Craft Shop and the Reaching Out Tea House, where persons of disability are gainfully employed and learn to lead independent lives
  • ·       Gave special gifts of shampoo and face cloths for an old folks home, Oxford Picture dictionaries for deserving students, medicines for a cancer patient, books for young girls being harboured in a pagoda


Our goals for 2014:

·       5 libraries - $500 per library
·       10 education scholarships for girls at risk -$150-$200 per child
·       7 micro-loans - $200--$500 depending on the business start up costs
·       5 -7 training sponsorships for persons of disability including housing -$500  per student

We combine the gifts of many donors to fulfill this wish list. Please send your cheques made out to Journeys of the Heart in either US or CDN funds to:

#10-115 Upper Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2Y3, Canada

Inquiries: or 1-250-537-4125

 And..come along with us on our blog at on a Journey of the Heart.